Our family – the messy beautiful

Legs touch and sheets tangle under stolen covers.  Socks tumble all mismatched in the dryer and when do you think you’ll have kids?  When will you start a family?il_570xN.426248888_pfj4

I don’t know.  When do you think we’ll have kids?  We’re already a family.  We’re already all a family. 

I’ve been known to roll my eyes at the empty “It’s so great!” responses I hear from newly marrieds.  The smiles and sugar frustrates me to no end, but I get it.  They don’t really want to hear the truth.

The sweet lady that stops you in the hallway at church doesn’t really want to hear that you fought on your honeymoon or you ruined your husband’s favorite shirt in the wash or actually, you cry when the lasagna burns, thank you.  Your well-meaning relatives don’t want to hear that marriage can be lonely, that a sharp word from or about your mother-in-law brings around that thick tension again, that your own precious childhood memories threaten to rain on the holiday parades.

Do they really want to know that the thought of having children is utterly and completely terrifying, that you’re afraid of losing yourself, losing your connection with your spouse, becoming someone you don’t recognize?  That some days you can barely hold your own self together; how can you manage to hold a tiny person?

And then.  Sometimes? You find someone that wants to know.  Grab those people and hold on tight, you guys.  That’s a miracle.

We’re two and a half years into this thing, and I know that in fleeting moments it can feel easier to do it on your own and I also know that it’s ten kinds of impossible to do it on your own.  It’ll probably be 20 kinds of impossible if we have kids.  That’s life.  Married or not married, kids or no kids, that’s life.  We need our family – our siblings and our parents and our single friends and our married friends and our community of truth tellers and grace givers.  Blood relatives or not.  We need you.

We need people who ask us the hard questions, who open their homes, invite us to their tables and extend their hearts.  We need you, who befriend and befamily with laughter and wine and prayer and grace, who want to talk about the mess.  You make the beautiful and the mess even more lovely.


I’m linking up with the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project – to learn more or join us, CLICK HERE.
Learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback.



In 2014, I’m reclaiming (and writing about) the word GRACE with OneWord 365.  Read more here.

5 thoughts on “Our family – the messy beautiful

  1. justoneoftheboysblog

    What a beautiful post! I already have kids from my previous marriage – but people ask when my husband and I are going to have kids together all the time. I can understand! *hugs*

  2. Jodi

    This is hauntingly beautiful in its realness.

    On kids: Don’t ever let anyone else’s timetable or opinions pressure you into it. It is more than 20 kinds of impossible. At times I have lost myself and my connection with Bernie. (Of course it is also 67 kinds of amazing and refinding self and spouse is more powerful and rewarding than I ever would have imagined. But just saying, if you’re going to do it, do it when you get the excited-nervous-butterflies-in-your-stomach-toes-on-the-edge-of-the-cliff-deep-breath-and-go feeling not when the little old ladies think it’s time.)

    On befriending and befamilying: Amen! I’ve found one or two of these in each stage and struggle of my life (and a few who overlap stages) and they are precious.


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